Indulgence

(3 syl.), in the Roman Catholic Church, is the entire or partial remission of punishment due to sin either in this world or in purgatory. It is supposed that the Church is the bank of the infinite merits of Christ, and can give such indulgences like cheques on a bank. (Latin, indulgentia.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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